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Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to monitor state capitol, says protest groups have rights regardless of actions of members

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to monitor state capitol, says protest groups have rights regardless of actions of members

State capitols step up security amid new safety concerns (copy)

A member of the Washington National Guard stands at a fence surrounding the Capitol in anticipation of protests Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Olympia, Wash. State capitols across the country are under heightened security after the siege of the U.S. Capitol last week.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency plans to monitor the state Capitol, a week after violent protestors stormed the nation’s Capitol, due to concerns over more protests across the nation leading up to Inauguration Day.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) warned in an internal bulletin of possible protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington, D.C. Monday afternoon, the Associated Press reported.

ALEA media relations manager Robyn Bryan said in an emailed statement that ALEA will continue to work in conjunction with local law enforcement to provide security to all state buildings within the Capitol complex.

“ALEA continues to monitor activity for public safety concerns and possible threats related to the ongoing protests across the nation,” the emailed reads.

ALEA says it recognizes a U.S. citizen's constitutionally protected rights to assemble, speak, and petition the government and that they "safeguard these first amendment rights, and reports on only those activities where the potential use of rhetoric and/or propaganda could be used to carry out acts of violence.” 

Potential criminality exhibited by certain members of a group “does not negate the constitutional rights of the group itself or its law-abiding participants to exercise their individual liberties under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” the statement reads.

Five confirmed people, including a Capitol Police officer, died Wednesday after violent protestors stormed the U.S. Capitol while Congress met to certify the Electoral College results from the 2020 general election.

Alabama’s Capitol is currently closed out of an abundance of caution during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alabama Legislature will meet in 21 days for the 2021 Regular Session in the Alabama Statehouse.

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